Team: Waconia gymnastics
Head coach: Molly Oscarson
Years with team: 6 – three as head coach
Assistant coaches: Jen Trelstad and Mary Jo Hughes (junior high)
Conference: Wright County
Section: 2A – Blue Earth Area, Chaska, Mankato West, New Prague, St. Peter, Glencoe-Silver Lake, Mankato East/Loyola, New Ulm, Waseca, and Watertown-Mayer
Captain: Katie McMahon
2011-12 finish: Last season saw the Wildcats’ first ever Wright County Conference title and medalist at the state level. The team finished second at the section competition and qualified Taylor Helle and Alexanna Gluck for the state tournament.
At state, Helle medaled in four event, including a fourth-place finish in the all around. Head coach Molly Oscarson was named the Section 2A Coach of the Year, while the entire Wildcat squad received the Section 2A Silver Award for having a team grade point average of 3.61.
Key losses: Waconia lost only Helle from the Wildcats’ varsity squad. Helle was the first gymnast in Waconia team history to medal at the state competition. She also was an All-Conference winner and received All-State recognition on vault, beam, floor, and the all around. She was All-State Honorable Mention on bars.
Key returnees: Three-time state participant, All-Conference winner, and All-State Honorable Mention honoree (all five events) Alexanna Gluck returns to the mat as a senior in 2012-13. Fellow seniors include All-Conference winners Katie McMahon and Mckensie Livermore (All-State HM on vault). McMahon will captain the team this season.
Sophomore Ashley Livermore and freshman Ella Hommer also return to the varsity floor.
Oscarson is very excited to have McMahon captain the team this season and said McMahon has already embraced the role with great maturity and leadership.
“She has been a positive role model for our girls and her scores have helped the team greatly for years,” Oscarson said. “I am sure her leadership and abilities will continue throughout the season.”
Key newcomers: Oscarson plans to rotate in many up and coming junior varsity gymnasts this season, including Abby Fahrenkamp, Claire Kinneberg, and Sydney Krueger, all who filled in at the varsity level last season.
“They are prepared and ready to handle the pressure of the varsity meets,” Oscarson said.
Teams to beat: Delano and New London-Spicer are the two conference teams Oscarson has eyes on this season. At the section level, the Wildcats are looking to unseat New Prague as the defending section champion.
Goals: First and foremost, the Wildcats want to defend their 2012 WCC title. Oscarson also wants to advance more than two gymnasts to the state competition. If the Wildcats can win the section, the entire team advances.
Oscarson said she expects the Wildcats to achieve no less than they did last season.
“All of our returning varsity gymnasts, along with some new upcoming girls have the capability to do as well as we did last year,” she said. “I have full confidence in all of the girls and know that they are ready to continue where we left off last year, or step up and handle any obstacle that comes their way.”
First meet: The Wildcats first meet is Nov. 30 at Delano, followed by their home opener on Dec. 4.